The day before he left to visit Natasha, the Captain joined me and we picked a couple of pints of blackberries (see them peeking out from the apple slices?)
lined a pie tin with purchased pie dough, mixed the apple slices with a flour-spice-sugar mixture,
gently stirred in some blackberries, piled the pie high with apple-blackberry mixture,
then topped it with the pre-cooked nutmeg streusel (from the freezer) I used here.
Into a 375 degree oven it went for about 40 minutes. About 10 minutes before it came out of the oven I poured on 1/3 cup apple cider syrup and topped it with heavy foil to keep the topping from burning even more (a bit had gotten too browned for my taste anyway).
The pie looked and smelled wonderful! When it was cool enough, I wrapped it up, leaving the foil on top, for it's ride up the freeway to Natasha and her honey. I hope that they enjoyed it with some whipped cream and will soon let me know if it tasted as good as it looked.
In case you want to make your own, here is the recipe. Gravenstein apples tend to soften and shrink a bit when cooked. If you use apples that retain their shape you may want to not pile the fruit mixture quite so high.
Apple Blackberry Crumb Pie
6 cups peeled, cored and sliced tart apples
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1 crust pie crust
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon already grated nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
2 cups Nutmeg Struesel, baked and crumbled (recipe below)
1/4 cup apple cider syrup (optional)
Make sure that the apple slices have no soft or browned spots. If apples will sit for very long bathe them in a mixture of water and lemon juice, then drain. Pick over the blackberries to remove any that have mould or are too soft.
Fit the pie crust into a 9-inch pie tin and crimp the edges. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar. Place the apple slices in a large bowl and sprinkle on the spice mixture. Toss with a spoon to coat the apple slices. Add the blackberries and gently stir to distribute them and coat with the spice mixture.
Pile the apple-berry mixture into the prepared pie shell.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
While oven is preheating, top the fruit mixture with the crumbs, starting at the top and cupping with your hands if needed to distribute the crumbs as evenly as possible over the whole pie top.
Bake in preheated oven about 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Check about 10 to 15 minutes before pie is done. Cover top with heavy aluminum foil to keep topping and/or crust from burning.
Cool on rack 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cooled. Serves 8.
Fresh Nutmeg Streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cold
½ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the streusel. Line a half sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
In a food processor pulse together all of the streusel ingredients until the mixture clumps. To make without a food processor, chop the nuts finely and use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture clumps.
Spread the streusel mixture out on the pan, leaving it in clumps and globs, but breaking them down if bigger than your thumb. Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden to medium brown. Remove from oven. Mixture may have spread. Use a small spatula to break the mixture up if pieces have gotten larger than your thumb. Let cool.